Women in Film celebrate Oscar nominees, call for equality

AP News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2016 2:11 AM
Women in Film celebrate Oscar nominees, call for equality

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The president of Women in Film is done talking about diversity and wage equality.

It's time for action, said Cathy Schulman, Oscar-winning producer of "Crash."

"No more talking about it. No more dealing with it as only philanthropy," Schulman told guests Friday at Women in Film's ninth annual pre-Oscars cocktail party. "This is a business issue. Movies and television for women and girls make money."

More than a dozen women nominated for Academy Awards this year attended the private event at Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails in West Hollywood, California, where Patricia Arquette and Jennifer Lawrence renewed their call for wage equality for women.

Besides Lawrence, other Oscar nominees in attendance included supporting-actress favorite Alicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl") and Jennifer Jason Leigh ("The Hateful Eight"), screenwriters Emma Donoghue ("Room") and Andrea Berloff ("Straight Outta Compton"), songwriter Diane Warren and costume designer Sandy Powell ("Carol" and "Cinderella"), who wore flame-red hair, silver platform sneakers and a tuxedo tailcoat over a T-shirt that read, "Straight Outta Brixton."

Arquette, who raised the issue of equal pay for women during last year's Oscar show when she accepted the supporting actress award, also announced the launch of a new change.org petition (www.change.org/era ) to support an equal-rights amendment to the Constitution.

"Be careful of your lawmakers," she said, "because your rights depend on who's in office at any given time, unless you have a constitutional amendment."

Lawrence, who penned an essay about wage equality for Lena Dunham's online newsletter last fall, pledged Friday to sign the petition.

"I love that she stood up," Lawrence said. "We're starting a conversation. We're getting a dialogue going ... Equal pay for women!"